Marketing Massage Therapy

Social Media Strategy

When it comes to marketing massage therapy, there's a ton of information online. Your job in filtering through it all, is to determine what works for your personality and your business, in your area. The Professional Massage Network is here to provide an environment for massage therapists to share ideas, successes and challenges. Our work can be very isolating, so it's important to touch base with others in our field.

Marketing massage therapy has some challenges built in. If we are working for ourselves, it requires that we step out of our ego and self limiting ideas in order to self promote. "But, wait," you say, "I started my massage education because I wanted to help people, I don't want to sound like a schmarmy used car salesman to get clients on my table! I want to learn strategies of marketing massage therapy that work without that yuck." RIGHT! I totally hear you! Get through that, it's not necessary. You *don't* have to 'sell' massage, in order to have a thriving business. You *DO* have to communicate your message clearly, not be afraid to meet new people and maybe tell a few great stories about clients who had success with your work.

In order to get clear on your business message, you may need to do a little bit of 'inner work', before you get to the 'outer work' portion of running an profitable business. Don't worry, it doesn't take too long to get clear, but without that foundation, it makes it harder to decide which steps to take immediately and what can wait. A clear vision and plan will allow you to move forward quickly without questioning your decisions about marketing massage therapy at every turn. will draw opportunities to you that you may not have considered possible or likely. Social Media Marketing for Massage Therapy - Stephanie Beck

Having read all that, you are here for some specific ideas. Getting down to nitty gritty of marketing massage therapy in November, Stephanie Beck of SRB Solutions , gave generously of her time and expertise to help some folks get clear on marketing massage therapy using social media strategies.

Today, unless you are on Mars...and maybe even if you are...your clients will be hanging out on Facebook to some degree. Millions of people are logging in and participating on Twitter, LinkedIn, Meetup Every. Single. Day. I can not stress enough how important it is to have some presence in these virtual cocktail parties. This is why we share SO much about online marketing massage therapy on this site. Social media has LITERALLY changed the way people interact, purchase and recreate. Be sure you have your professional presence in these places!

The following is the summary of our Live Facebook Q&A in November, when Stephanie Beck answered participants questions about social media strategy for massage professionals.

Marketing Massage Therapy with Social Media

Q: What are some ways to attract potential clients to your Facebook fan page?

Stephanie:Great question, thanks for asking. Keep your content up to date, make it conversational and ask questions.Make sure it's informational as to the benefits your customers are looking for. FB recommends a Custom Welcome Tab, be sure to make a good impression lead with "how" your product or service is going to benefit them not just "what" you do but how you do it.

Ads are another great tool for bringing fans to your page, that is why it's important to have up to date content that is informational once you get them there.

Q: Do you have any favorite apps for fan pages that will help with marketing massage therapy?

Stephanie: Also, invite your friends to your page, because friends of your friends will see they like it and will come visit!Yes, we offer custom fan page with lead capture and help with special offers, this helps you build your email and text list.One thing to make sure is that the app is SSL, a secure server, there was a change in Oct on FB, and now not all apps are working. So double check, before you make your decisions.

Q: Stephanie, do you include your blog in your social media strategy plans? How would you suggest working those into other marketing massage therapy social media tools/platforms?

Stephanie: Great question! Yes, mention your social media links and do the same on your social sites.Also remember to add hyper links to your website in your blog posts so you have them all connected and working together.

Q: So, do you syndicate them, so they post automatically to your page on Facebook for instance? We've heard good reasons for both posting directly to the wall, or just to a Blog tab...what's your suggestion for marketing massage therapy? Do you suggest using Networked Blogs on FB, or another tool?

Stephanie: There are positives to using Networked blogs on FB, there are several others. FB is the largest Social Media tool out there and as long as your ideal customer is here, it makes sense to keep it here.I hear from so many business owners they are stressed about keeping up with 1 social media tool, keeping it simple is sometimes the best thing for them.

Q: Hi Stephanie Beck! Do you suggest linking Twitter, FB and LinkedIn or use the accounts individually when marketing massage therapy? If you do link them, how?

Stephanie: Well, the easiest I think is Linked In and twitter, in your set up you add your social media links to your main account and then with each post you have the option whether to tweet it as well. I usually like to keep them separated because most tweets are limited in characters and I like to create a little different message. There are special programs that you can pre-program all of your tweets, posts, status updates, etc... for days, weeks, months at a time and it's a time saving tool.

Q: If you are attempting to be timely and pertinent in your posts, when posting to these scheduling programs for marketing massage therapy, do you set 'em and forget 'em or do you continue to monitor and chime in with additional posts or is it part of the time savings to not worry about it? Oh, and are there any particuar programs you would recommend for scheduling?

Stephanie: Thank you for bringing this up, you never set and forget, always monitor and respond to any post, comment, etc... I like to say 10 minutes a day, or if you can make the time take 10 min 3 times a day to check in on the sites.We offer a Tri-Ad Service that will set up the FB, Twitter and Linked In.

Q: I have a Facebook business page and am on Twitter. What other value does Linked In provide for marketing massage therapy?

Stephanie: I would recommend spending some time on Linked In evaluate if your ideal customer is there before making a commitment to the site for your business.Linked in offers lots of great networking opportunities to meet other professionals you may even find another business owner in your area that you can co-op some offers together to grow your business.

I have always thought of LinkedIn as a network site with other professional and a way to find potential work that is true, but keep in mind you might find a corporate office that would want to have out calls, or make an offer for their employees to come in for a special. After you have built your relationship a bit, I wouldn't just lead with that offer.

Q: Stephanie, we get the question all the time about how often MTs should post on Facebook, and ideas for content...can you share some suggestions and ideas for frequency that will work most effectively when marketing massage therapy?

Stephanie: Great question, really recommend about 3 posts or tweets a week. Create a social calendar, plan your posts/tweets/status updates, mix them up, video on Monday, Funny about the brand something that is engaging and quirky and Friday a weekly offer.

Keep it human, people like talking to real peopleBe timely & relevant make sure you are keeping the posts/content to the right people at the right time.

Q: Do you suggest a time that is better for posts?

Stephanie: With the new Insights here on FB, you can really monitor what times are going to work best of your customers. You do need to play around with it a little bit and monitor it to find out when you have most reachablility for your clients. It's going to defer a little with each business.

Q: Okay, so all the talk about keeping your private life and your work life separate...I find there is so much grey area, do you set up a strategy that incorporates both or should it be black and white?

Stephanie: You are right on the money, that is the perfect scenario. Although in our industry we seem to want to connect the too, myself included.

Before I started SRB Solutions, I worked for another company so all I had was my personal profile. As a result, I have a blurred mix that I have been working to separate. My business is so much of my personal life, but I have to say I think my family sometimes gets tired of it. LOL!

So what about people that use a profile for biz verses a fan pagethey can technically get their hand slapped at any time with FB, however as long as there aren't any complaints and lots of interaction, FB will let it slide, but they prefer you keep them separated.

Q: I personally don't get Twitter. How can twitter help in marketing massage therapy practices and growing my revenue?

Stephanie: Twitter is a great tool, we know that text messages are read within 6 seconds of receiving them. Emails and posts can be read at any time. Just be sure to keep it beneficial for who you are tweeting.

Tweeps love deals and offers! So tweeting special "whisper" codes to bring ot your store front to "get a special deal" works wonders!

Tiffany Blackden: Also, in many metropolitan areas, there are local 'aggregates'. These are Twitter profiles that syndicate or retweet posts that apply to folks who are following local news. We've had posts picked up by new people, because a 'local social news' type of profile retweeted. With the event of the new iPhones coming out with the Twitter app integrated, the amount of people on Twitter has exploded in the last, it may prove to be more useful as that audience expands.

Q: Stephanie, what's your #1 suggestion for people who are FIRST getting started in marketing massage therapy practices? What do you feel is MOST important in social media strategy?

Stephanie: Spend time checking out the sites before you make business commitment to make sure your ideal customers are spending time there. And THE most important is to PLAN your strategy out.

Don't just fly by the seat of your pants day to day. Mix it up with video, photos, comments, and once a week make an offer.Integrate your Social Media with the rest of your marketing. Print media, in-store specials, business cards, emails, everything should have all your social media connections on them.

Q: Stephanie, can you give some examples of your client's offers that were successful? Many of us avoid offering special deals (price wise) too often and would love some ideas!

Stephanie: Sure! Knowledge is a valuable asset too for customers, sharing tips on stretching, special recipes for dieting through the holidays.

Also Bring a friend or refer a friend and connecting an offer to when the friend books. Last minute deals like, "tomorrow anyone who books after 3pm (or your slow time) will receive a foot scrub with your massage."

Q: Do you find text message is best for that?

Stephanie: Yes, text messages are really good for that type, although if you set up specific day during the week or time of day on FB every day that your make an offer, you can find lots of customers telling friends, etc.

Make sure to involved your clients that come to your facility as well! Let them to know, put signs up, etc. Letting them know to follow you on Tweeter for the Daily Deal, or whatever you decide.

What I hear is a lot of people can't check facebook, twitter, etc, while they are at work unless they have a smart phone. That maybe true for some, one of the company's I worked for used to allow employees on their breaks and lunches to check their social media accounts. But that isn't always the case.That is why you will have to monitor the responses your get using insights tool so you know when and what to post to get the best results.

Q: Stephanie, what do MTs need to be aware of with Facebook giveaways when marketing massage therapy? It seems like a great way to encourage involvement, but what are the specific rules to be aware of?

Stephanie: There are facebook guidelines and free information here. Some of the basics are no sexual content, over promising, making unsubstantiated claims, etc. Using ads on FB are great ways to build your business and very inexpensive. We recently built a campaign for a chiropractic educator on $50 ad budget for 1 month that added $7,000 in sales to his class.

You don't have to spend a lot, but you do need to monitor and make adjustments to the ads every 2-3 days. Expiration dates are critical on Social Media sites. You CAN NOT set it and forget it at all!

Q: What should a therapist expect to spend in the amount of time posting/creating/networking every week on social media these days to actually see a return on investment? Business owners are often worried that marketing massage therapy online won't be effective and it will be a waste of time, or not worth the investment.

Stephanie: Goes back to your plan. I recommend 3 posts/tweets a week and you can take a couple of hours and write up 30-60 questions or topics you are going to post for that month. That way you can end up only spending 10 min to max 30 min a day on the follow up.

It's all about how organized you are and how much you plan ahead.

Q: Do you really think 3 tweets a week is enough???? I always feel like my message can get lots in the herd.

Stephanie: Because I do hear from business owners complaints about time, I say start with 3 tweets a week as a base line. Tweeter really works great for once a day or even twice a day if you plan it accordingly.

Q: What is the most effective way to use Facebook Ads in marketing massage therapy? Would like to use this means of marketing but don't know how to do so effectively...I'm a newer MT trying to jump start my business.

Stephanie: You can really narrow your target market to your area by zip code or cities, then narrow your demographics to match your ideal customer.

Next narrow your interests to what people might be looking for on FB, like Pain management, or stretching, or whatever your specialties are for the services your provide.

The Professional Massage Network is grateful to have such fantastic contributors to the Live Business Q&A Lunch and Learns every Thursday at Noon(EST). Join us for some brain food.

Join the conversation, and meet some new friends in the field. If you have any specific questions, please contact us!

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